Saturday, April 5, 2014


This week, I heard teachers described as "self-aggrandizing whiners." That's quite the turn of phrase. During times of anger and frustration, it's easy to attack semi-anonymous, semi-faceless groups of people—but words matter, and words hurt.

Self-aggrandizing whiners. These three words were used to vilify a dedicated team of professionals who struggle to motivate, nurture, and teach children. We're not perfect, we're not superheroes, but we are trying our best under often-trying circumstances.

Are we going to fail occasionally? Certainly.
Are we going to agonize and punish ourselves over our mistakes? Definitely.
Are we going to try to make things better and do things differently? Absolutely!

This is as much a reminder to myself as it is to others: Even during the most challenging times, we need to show patience, empathy, and respect. We're all in this struggle together.

A mentor once told me that teaching requires you to develop a thick skin. I originally thought that meant wearing invisible armor to protect oneself from attacks, but now I realize the thick skin is scar tissue built up over time from repeated wounds and injuries—painful memories that fade ever-so-slowly, but which never completely disappear.

I'll stop whining now...